ELV’s Thought for the Day


Why invent the concept of good taste? Whether a by-product of the
homology of the fields of consumption and production, or the natural
evolution of the refinement of the social self through manners, the concept of good taste functions primarily to distinguish those who have it from those who do not. There is nothing inherently better about one flavor over another until each of those flavors are generally accepted to represent the preferences of a particular social group or class. And then, as those preferences change, whether because of changes in the distribution of the various capital of the people who claim them or changes in the positions and position-takings within their respective fields, tastes change, too. Gastronomy became the field in which these tastes were negotiated, codified, written down, and quite literally served up to the public at large.
Mitchell Davis

6 thoughts on “ELV’s Thought for the Day

  1. ELV responds: Restaurant critics provide a prism through which their tastes are reflected, in hopes of helping others decide where to spend their hard earned money. Ultimately though, the ultimate decision of “taste” is yours and yours alone….unless you are a slave to fashion.

  2. Ideally each of us are the arbiters of taste; our own taste. For example I love butter but never butter my bread (and margarine or any butter substitute would certainly never do if ever I decided to butter my bread). And stale bread, providing its been “aged” in house – my house – has several uses other than eating it au natural, which I often do anyway.
    The restaurant critic provides a service that is half entertainment half useful reference guide. Sometimes I like to know a bit of useful information prior to first visiting an eatery. I also want to know if a place that may be on my visiting radar is serving fresh bread or stale anything else!

  3. Mr Curtas,
    I just re-watched Dinner Rush, and do you remember when the Chef explained that a few dishes on the menu were there just for the Food Critics. I wanted to ask you if you think that perhaps Critics have actually influenced what Chefs are cooking to the extent that we are not actually eating in according to our preferences and to what pleases us? A bit like what has happened to wine from the influence of Robert Parker

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